IRD to conduct the survey of crypto investors

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Inland Revenue is increasing the interest to cryptocurrency buyers by requiring the businesses who work with them to give over their client information.

It’s required all firms pass on customers’ personal details as well as the type and value of their crypto assets.

“IRD is requesting this information to enhance our understanding of the crypto asset environment in New Zealand so we can work out how best to help taxpayers meet their income tax obligations,” it said in a statement.

Janine Grainger, Chief executive of Easy Crypto, said she was disappointed by the request but not surprised.

“I guess [IRD] is just widening its net of the tax base and crypto assets are something that is definitely growing in popularity and we’re seeing a huge increase in New Zealanders getting involved.”

Nevertheless, she considered the requirement to control customer’s private details to be “heartbreaking”.

“Privacy is really important to us… one of the tenets [of] cryptocurrency in general is around having freedom and autonomy and privacy.”

“While many people might think ‘I have nothing to hide therefore, what do I care?’ the point of privacy isn’t to aid people who have something to hide, it’s to ensure we have a fair, open and free society.”

Grainger said that Easy Crypto would follow with IRD ‘s request, after discovering that there were no legal reasons for refusing to provide the details. 

IRD said that it was in the initial stages of its investigation and that it was too early to determine what the reaction had been between companies. 

If taxpayers were embarrassed that they had not complied with their tax commitments, they could make a voluntary report to IRD, he said. 

Earlier this month, IRD released new guidelines on how to levy crypto money.

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